abhor

verb
ab·​hor | \ əb-ˈhȯr How to pronounce abhor (audio) , ab- \
abhorred; abhorring

Definition of abhor

transitive verb

: to regard with extreme repugnance : to feel hatred or loathing for : loathe abhorred violence

Other Words from abhor

abhorrer \ əb-​ˈhȯr-​ər How to pronounce abhor (audio) , ab-​ \ noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for abhor

Synonyms

Antonyms

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

Choose the Right Synonym for abhor

hate, detest, abhor, abominate, loathe mean to feel strong aversion or intense dislike for. hate implies an emotional aversion often coupled with enmity or malice. hated the enemy with a passion detest suggests violent antipathy. detests cowards abhor implies a deep often shuddering repugnance. a crime abhorred by all abominate suggests strong detestation and often moral condemnation. abominates all forms of violence loathe implies utter disgust and intolerance. loathed the mere sight of them

The Horror in Abhor

Abhor means “to loathe” or “to hate,” and while loathe and hate have roots in Old English, abhor derives from Latin. The roots of abhor can give us a deeper understanding of both the strength of the dislike expressed by the word and its relationship to other words in English. It came from the Latin word abhorrēre, which meant “to recoil from” or “to be repugnant to,” and was formed by combining ab-, meaning “from” and horrēre, meaning “to bristle,” “to tremble,” or “to shudder.” This word for trembling or shuddering in reaction to something scary or awful is related to the word that names of the cause of those reactions—the Latin word horror, which was later borrowed into English. The -hor of abhor is also the hor- of horror.

Examples of abhor in a Sentence

We believe we know that Americans abhor extremes and mistrust ideology. — David Frum, Atlantic, March 1995 I abhor latter-day, modishly camp take-offs of my cherished boyhood heroes and heroines (Little Orphan Annie, Wonder Woman, Invisible Scarlet O'Neil). — Mordecai Richler, New York Times Book Review, 3 May 1987 He abhorred grandiosity. When he came to New York to revise his manuscripts and galley proofs, he would hole up in a little cubicle on the attic floor of the old 52nd Street mansion that went by the name of Random House. — Norman Cousins, Saturday Review, April 1981 abhors the way people leave their trash at the picnic sites in the park
See More
Recent Examples on the Web Because, while Jason Momoa is clearly having a blast as Duncan in Denis Villeneuve’s new film adaptation, there’s no getting around the fact that — for myself and others — this is a fictional universe that should abhor a name like Duncan Idaho. Nate Jones, Vulture, 28 Oct. 2021 Most senior leaders don’t abhor that vacuum at all. David Benjamin And David Komlos, Forbes, 27 Sep. 2021 It’s the use of a legislative tool to block bills you abhor. Gilbert Garcia, San Antonio Express-News, 30 June 2021 Sadly the thing is this: Institutions of all sorts abhor risk and work. Clem Chambers, Forbes, 7 June 2021 North Side business leaders said the hope and opportunity of economic expansion and more jobs in the lowest-income section of the city are also a response of those who abhor gun violence that disproportionately claims Black victims. Neal St. Anthony, Star Tribune, 6 June 2021 Even those of us who abhor friend-enemy distinctions in politics become little Schmittians when watching sports. Vinson Cunningham, The New Yorker, 2 June 2021 Every politician and government functionary professes to abhor high inflation. William Baldwin, Forbes, 12 May 2021 McConnell may abhor Trump's actions, but his hopes of winning back the Senate may hinge on finding a way to accommodate the ex-President's supporters and acolytes in close races in the midterm elections next year. Stephen Collinson, CNN, 5 May 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'abhor.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of abhor

15th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for abhor

Middle English abhorren, borrowed from Latin abhorrēre, from ab- ab- + horrēre "to bristle, shiver, shudder" — more at horror entry 1

Learn More About abhor

Time Traveler for abhor

Time Traveler

The first known use of abhor was in the 15th century

See more words from the same century

Listen to Our Podcast About abhor

Dictionary Entries Near abhor

abhominable

abhor

abhorrence

See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for abhor

Last Updated

15 Nov 2021

Cite this Entry

“Abhor.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/abhor. Accessed 2 Dec. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More Definitions for abhor

abhor

verb
ab·​hor | \ ab-ˈhȯr How to pronounce abhor (audio) \
abhorred; abhorring

Kids Definition of abhor

: to dislike very much : loathe He abhorred the idea of eating live worms …— Brian Jacques, Redwall

More from Merriam-Webster on abhor

Nglish: Translation of abhor for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of abhor for Arabic Speakers

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

Farm Idioms Quiz

  • cow coming home
  • What does 'poke' refer to in the expression 'pig in a poke'?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!